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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Staff access to student work in Technical; ...
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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    Staff access to student work

    Staff here currently have read/write access which I am not happy about as staff could possibly be using this to modify student coursework and possible inadvertently delete work amongst other things.

    Spoken to a few colleagues here and they all allow read access only and thatís how it has been at their schools. I also want to change staff access to read only here but need something to help me deal with the fallout once it has been implemented as there will be plenty of that!

    Is dealing with this problem a matter of individual opinion of the school or is there something like a formal document out there that can tell me what access staff should have?

    Please HELP!

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    KWestos's Avatar
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    This is a good question which I would like to know the answer to!

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    Do you have an AUP in place which dictates that this access is required?

    Personally we don't allow it here for the reasons you outlined.

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    The idea of teachers having even read access makes me shudder.

    I do remember one incident, where a certain senior teacher kicked up enough of a fuss that I was ordered to give them access to all student's work. As a result, one sixth former had their entire art photography portfolio deleted. That would've been their coursework.

    Similarly we lost two media student's videos, and almost an entire year's worth of music coursework.

    Needless to say the status quo was quickly restored and the only people permitted to have access to student files were the IT technical staff. If teachers had specific concerns, they came through us and brought a member of SLT.

    I always maintained the position that it was similar to searching a student's bag or locker, and should not be taken lightly.

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    Hi AngryITGuy,

    I dare say there could be some guidance from BECTA, if you look hard enough! Until I got here, there was no access to student areas at all. We were forever being asked to extract over-due work etc from student areas for teachers. I set up a p: drive (they used to be called pupils!) for all staff that has read only access to the student directory structure. I wouldn't dream of giving anything further for fear of the [potentially disastrous] consequences!


    All the best,

    Richard

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    teejay's Avatar
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    We allow read only access to the staff for the pupils My Documents, but certainly not write access.

    There are a number of laws which you could cite for this, such as the Computer Misuse Act and the Data Protection Act. I'm sure the exam boards wouldn't be too happy either if staff had open access to alter students work.

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    KWestos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post

    I always maintained the position that it was similar to searching a student's bag or locker, and should not be taken lightly.
    We treat their network area like a school textbook/file. It's there to be inspected any time!!!

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, there have been some interesting comments submitted here.

    @kmount we do have a AUP but it doesn't state anything about access to student data, may need an update me thinks.

    @jamesb interesting you compare it to searching a students bag/locker. Didn't actually see it from that point of view. I suppose to some extent the students do need their privacy.

    @rj_mayer tried the BECTA site but didn't find anything helpfull, will need to look a little harder.

    Didn't realise it was going to open such a can of worms, but there are clearly issues here with privacy and data protection that I didn't even consider.

    Just not sure how staff would react if access was removed totally!

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    I think read only is fair enough. In terms of privacy our AUP says that we can look in their documents areas etc. I think staff are professional enough to do it when needed though.

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    We give READ ONLY access to the staff. But for the most part they use the VLP now.

    I have a clause in the AUP which states that the staff have read only access which for legal reasons they cant have more (Computer misuse act and Data protection). It put them firmly in there place and they deal with it. Before they have full access. I put a stop to that as soon as I found out.

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    To answer your question. No, teaching staff are NOT allowed full access to student directories. And that's straight from an OFSTED inspector's mouth.

    Having said that, the RM (CC3) system is setup to give staff full access to student accounts if they become 'Delegates'. Naughty...very naughty. But I imagine that this was written before the no-fullaccess rule came into force.

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    martynbez's Avatar
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    We have just had this issue raised here.

    Just wanted to know if there is a defined answer on the matter or is it differant from school to school?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTSM View Post
    To answer your question. No, teaching staff are NOT allowed full access to student directories. And that's straight from an OFSTED inspector's mouth.
    Sorry, but the words that come out of an Ofsted inspector's mouth isn't worth the paper it's not written on. If the OP wants to deal with potential fallout from staff then he's going to have to have something written down. Like the many "health and safety" rules, usually bounded about by LEA advisors, most of them have come from nowhere. (See: Health & Saftey Exec - H&S Myths, and TUC - H&S Looking at the truth behind the headlines)

    I'm not sure that this is something you should get too upset over. Certainly, if you cut of access and say it's because you think that staff may interfere with coursework is going to give you massive headaches and, quite frankly, you're probably not paid enough to have to put up with that. You're basically insulting their professionalism. It's like saying to a doctor he can't have access to drugs incase he maliciously kills someone - yes, we all know it has happened, but it doesn't mean that all doctors are murderers.

    I'd email someone in the SMT and explain the situation, outlining the risks. You could stick some more techie reasons in there too e.g. Having lots of read access directories means that any virus that gets into the network can spread itself extremely quickly. Do it in a very rounded 'just explaining the situation' kind of a way.
    If they say yes, then you do it, citing that they've asked you to. Any teacher got a problem with that say "yes, I see your point. Ask the head - just followin' orders gov'ner"
    If they say no, then you're not to blame when it all goes pear shaped.
    Last edited by eean; 12th June 2009 at 01:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    I'm not sure that this is something you should get too upset over. Certainly, if you cut of access and say it's because you think that staff may interfere with coursework is going to give you massive headaches and, quite frankly, you're probably not paid enough to have to put up with that. You're basically insulting their professionalism. It's like saying to a doctor he can't have access to drugs incase he maliciously kills someone - yes, we all know it has happened, but it doesn't mean that all doctors are murderers.
    In many cases I'd say its more like not giving a doctor's receptionist access to drugs in case they prescribe the wrong ones for patients. With full access to student areas a lot of damage can be done, just by hitting the wrong key. The blame for that isn't going to laid at the feet of the person who did it, its going to be placed on either 'the system' or on the support people most of the time.

    Not only that but to a point students should be able to have a little privacy in their areas. There's no rule that they can't keep, say, a diary or their own personal writing in their area. In cases where a student's suspected of abusing that privacy then fine, remove it, but in most cases its not going to do any harm and providing that sort of access is just an extension of the Big Brother system that's spreading far too quickly for my liking.

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    The idea of teachers having even read access makes me shudder.

    I do remember one incident, where a certain senior teacher kicked up enough of a fuss that I was ordered to give them access to all student's work. As a result, one sixth former had their entire art photography portfolio deleted. That would've been their coursework.

    Similarly we lost two media student's videos, and almost an entire year's worth of music coursework.

    .

    That's why here we have........Back ups, that way no one loses anything, we give certain teachers (mostly IT Teachers) full access.



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